For some reason today I was thinking about old friends and old rides. When I first started riding I always rode by myself. I didn't know anyone that rode a bike, I saw people riding, but I had no way to contact them, out side of stopping them along the road and asking "can I ride with you?". I would see riders around McCook NE. usually when I was driving to or from work. But after a few month of riding around in town and on the highways I got to know a few people. Patrick, John, Randy, Linda were probably the ones that I met first. Just happened to be riding by Patrick's house early one morning and his wife yelled at me. There was a ride leaving from there house and she thought I was going with them, and had missed their house. So that was my first chance to ride with a group, a small group but still. We would do Saturday rides and when we could rides after work. Nothing too big 20-25 miles, but a whole lot of fun. And it got me into the bicycle loop in town.
There was another rider I would see, he had a red and white Schwinn. I always saw him riding on the highway by my work. I ask around with the other riders in town, someone said they thought he was a cop in town. But know one knew for sure.
I'm not sure how Paul and I finally met, but we did. He wasn't a city police officer, he was a Trooper for the Nebraska State Patrol. And riding was part of his wellness plan. I didn't care why he was riding just that he rode.
As the summer went on we rode more and more. I got to know his wife and two kids. We became good friends. You could say I leached onto them and kinda of a weird step brother that they never wanted. But they put up with me. Paul and I would do a lot of riding together. After I would get off work and on weekends we would do some longer rides. When it was really windy we would ride with the wind and his wife would come pick us up. Nothing like having your own team van!
I guess it was the first year that Paul and I started riding was when I met Rosemary, Quite the little Lady, My first encounter with her was along the road. I was riding by myself one morning. Just started down a hill when a Isuzu trooper pulls over to the side of the road, This CRAZY LADY jumps out, running at me, yelling and screaming. At first I have no idea what she is saying, or what she is wants. After a few seconds I could understand her, "Are you from around here?" Yes I said, Why? Well she was a cyclist that was moving to McCook. Her husband was going to work for the Community Collage, and she wanted have people to ride with. And she saw me riding on the road and had to stop and ask.
They would be moving from O.K.C. in the fall and she would get a hold of me when they were settled in.
That spring was a start of a lot of great rides for the three of us. Quick rides long rides it did not matter. We rode when we could and as often as we could. The funnest rides were the "Ride with the wind" rides. You could do a lot of mile in a short amount of time. Best way to describe it is forced motor pacing. And a lot of fun. Paul's wife and kids were the ones that would usually pick us up, and drive us back to McCook. I'm sure that was a ton of fun for her.
We made up rules as we rode, on a century ride we made a rule that after 75 miles, we were not responsible for what we said. Anything goes! Its probably best that I don't remember what happened after 75 miles. Some things were better left on the road.
One of our crazy "ride with the wind" rides was in April. The wind was out of the south, and it was blowing like crazy. We were headed north. North Platte to be exact. 65 miles straight north, this should be fun! And it was, big ring the whole way. 20 mph average. And yes Its it was 20.5 mph average to be exact, I check my old training log, and the date was April 8th 1990. Ride time 3:09:42 and 65.17 miles.
At 65 miles we didn't hit the don't ask don't tell 75 mile zone. I don't remember the whole ride but there was one indecent that I do remember. About half way into the ride Rosemary needed something to eat, and for what ever reason when she pulled out her Fig bars they slipped out of her hand and all over the highway. Now Rosemary and I were hungry. I cant remember if Paul went for the road kill or not? Rosemary and I did, like rats going after scraps. Big pieces, little pieces it didn't matter we ate it off the pavement! And we liked it!
And for some reason I had that pop into my head today. Good times, Good times!